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Purchasing big-ticket items years later worth the wait
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While looking through one of my favorite fishing-supply catalogs, I couldn’t believe the prices on some of the items I paid big money for several years ago.

My first GPS unit, for example, was handheld and cost me just shy of $400. The screen on it was the size of a cell phone, and it always lost signal while driving. Today, for $400, I can buy a depth finder with a built in GPS, along with some of the latest depth finder features.

What I find interesting is that all the other items have increased in price. A bag of plastic worms that I used to buy for $5 is now selling for $6.

A mid- to high-end fishing reel that used to cost around $100 cannot be bought for less than $150 today.

When purchasing electronics, I guess you just have to assume that in a few years you’ll be able to buy the same unit for half the price. It’s nice having the latest and greatest when it comes to electronics, but the value just doesn’t seem to hold for very long.

The electronics on my boat are in need of replacement. Unless some major depth finder company wants to send one my way for free — hint, hint — I plan on being very conservative with my purchase this time around.

That $400-unit mentioned above seems just right for me. For the features that it offers I can’t see the price dropping too much further. And in a couple of years, I’m sure there will be something out that will make the most expensive models today average.

Delta Report

There are a lot of smaller bass willing to bite with a few bigger fish being caught for those willing to stick with big fish baits like top water frogs and buzz baits.

Currently, there are a lot of large colonies of bluegill making their way shallow for the spawn. A lot of the bigger bluegill are striking out of defense.

Anglers doing the best for them are bouncing small crappie jigs around spawning areas. As the summer patterns start to develop look for a lot of baitfish up shallow in and around shade.

New Melones Lake

Kokanee fishing remains great. Anglers are catching them while trolling right off of Glory Hole Point and around the spillway and the dam. K

okanee are being caught from the surface down to 50 feet. Most anglers are doing the best have best while fishing between 30-45 feet deep.

Bass fishing is hit or miss, as anglers are having a hard time putting together any real pattern. Most anglers are either fishing jigs down to 30 feet or searching for schools of fish off of main lake points.

Lake Don Pedro

Kokanee are still being caught between 50 and 70 feet deep. Anglers fishing for them are reporting good action, but not as good as what’s happening at New Melones.

Bass fishing is tough, as anglers are struggling to catch them. One of the most consistent patterns right now seems to be fishing with top water lures.

Zara Spooks along with other walking type baits are doing well for anglers that are willing to stay with the baits throughout the day.

New Hogan

Earlier in the week it was brutal out there. The fishing was very tough as the bass were very hard to find. The best pattern that I found was to cover water with a bluegill colored shallow running crank bait.

I did see a lot of smaller bluegill up shallow, but they were very small. I also saw several balls of bass fry. They were almost an inch long making me believe that they were at least a month old.

I was the only boat on the lake Monday; there were an abundance of lakeside campsites available.

Lake Camanche

The trout fishing has really slowed down, but the bass fishing has been excellent recently. Most bass have been caught fairly shallow with plastics such as lizards and tube baits. The crappie bite has been great for anglers fishing between 15 and 20 feet of water while fishing stick ups and brush piles. Night fishermen are also doing well using live minnows and crappie jigs under lights.

Tip of the Week

For some anglers the mere mention of color selection can bring up fish story after fish story.

Personally, I prefer to stick to the basic colors, my favorite being watermelon red flake. There are times when a change is necessary though, in muddy water darker colors are going to be more visible and in clearer water something more natural is always a good choice.

Also, if you ever find yourself getting short struck, a subtle change in color can make a world of difference.

To contact Jarod Ballardo, e-mail